Since the pandemic wreaked havoc on people’s lives, international travel and the global economy, many study abroad programs were canceled for at least a year, if not two. This amazing opportunity was taken from students with no clear timetable on when it would return. However, now that international travel has reopened in the past six to nine months, the Office of Global Programs is back to helping students study all over the world. Now that many programs are active, don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to study abroad! If any students are on the fence about traveling outside of the country for their academics, please read the following testimonials from fellow peers who have studied abroad recently, and realize why you should go abroad!
Ryan Beane, Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea
This past spring I studied abroad at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, and it was one of the most amazing and powerful experiences of my life. I immersed myself in Korean culture; I ate kimchi, wore traditional hanbok and walked through either the bustling or charming streets of Seoul. I traversed the country, going to other cities like Busan and Gangnueng, while also visiting rural villages where English was rarely spoken. Throughout these adventures, I made great friends that I still keep in contact with and who I plan to see soon in the future! Studying abroad in Seoul widened my perspective and understanding of the world, and truly broadened my view of different cultures and different customs of other societies. My advice would be to study abroad alone in order to force yourself to meet new friends and break out of your comfort zone. I’ve grown so much by studying abroad, and it was due to completely breaching my comfort zone.
Malaika Kakonge, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Netherlands
Over the summer of 2022 I went to Amsterdam, Netherlands and accomplished my study abroad experience. I was studying an introductory course to the interdisciplinary field of multilateral diplomacy at the University of Amsterdam. Not only did this course provide me the opportunity to immerse myself in worldly cultures, but it also allowed me to work on team projects with like-minded individuals that are keen on understanding global systems. Visiting all the tourist attractions Amsterdam had to offer and living the everyday life biking around the city made my experience all worthwhile. Studying abroad was one of the best decisions I made throughout my undergraduate experience because of the positive influence it will have on my future career.
John Moylan, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
I studied abroad because I wanted to do something different for a semester and I thought going abroad might be fun. Some of my favorite things abroad were of course the people I met there, but also exploring the many different cultures in Europe. Amsterdam and Paris are only about three hours away by train—the same amount of time from Boston to New York—but the cultures are vastly different. I also really enjoyed being able to bike everywhere. One thing I’d advise students who are thinking of studying abroad would be to plan ahead for the unexpected. Make sure you have a plan for if your luggage gets lost or if you need to go to the embassy or something. You never want to be stuck without any idea of what to do.
Susanna Nowland, John Cabot University, Rome, Italy
I studied at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy from May 18 to June 25. I studied abroad because I always wanted to go to Italy, but more importantly I really wanted to get out of my comfort zone and make connections with people from a completely different background as me. A few of my favorite things I did while abroad was talk to the locals—they always had the best recommendations—to explore the surrounding cities in Italy, to venture as far as Split, Croatia and to go swimming in the beautiful Adriatic Sea. The advice I would give to prospective study abroad students is that it is 100 percent worth it; however, if you're having a hard time funding the trip or figuring out how to get there, definitely look into shorter programs. My program was only five weeks and I don’t think I could have stayed any longer. I also highly suggest applying to scholarships like the Beacon Student Success Fellowship.
Please visit the Office of Global Programs in room 2100 on the second floor of Campus Center for more info on how to begin the journey to study abroad. The Global Student Ambassadors, Ryan Beane and Malaika Kakonge, are in the office Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., offering peer advising for students looking to study abroad. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, and follow our Instagram @umb_studyabroad to see more students’ experiences abroad!